What are Comprehensive Examinations? Comprehensive Examinations, or better known as “comps”, can be a daunting and intimidating period in PhD programs. Differing slightly from program to program, comprehensive examinations include an intensive writing period, followed by an oral examination where you, the writer, defend your decision-making pathway highlighted in your written exams.
For example: The School of Nursing boasts a 4-week intensive writing period where PhD students prepare two, 20-page responses to two questions presented by their committee. Within three weeks of the written submission, feedback is received, and an oral presentation occurs.
I hope these tips are helpful. The process can be isolating but it can also be incredibly empowering. Please never hesitate to reach out if you want to chat more on the process and to those writing in the future, you got this ☺